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The Actual Killers

In Hemingway’s “The Killers” I was waiting for something to happen but nothing ever did. There was no ending to the story, it basically left you waiting and wondering if they were going to come back, or something going to happen to the men in the restaurant. It was very anticlimactic.


This story was full of noir. There was no are in the way they spoke. They used the phrase “bright boy” a lot in reference to the workers in the restaurant. They also kept saying “What’s the idea?” and other phrases that relate to the noir dialect. The Description of their clothes an example of noir as well. Hemingway describes their dark overcoats, their hats;  even the way their faces are portrayed gives off a sense of noir. Setting is noir as well. The story begins with two mysterious men walking into the lunch-room, while it’s dark outside and a streetlamp comes on out the window.


Alternative Ending: (3 stars)

(This occurs as Nick is going to check on Ole Anderson at the Hirsch room).

Nick walk up to the Hirsch house and knocked on the door. A lady let them inside. She asked what he wanted and he said to see Ole Anderson. She took him to the room and knocked on the door. Ole Anderson answered and said to come in. As the door opened, in the past Nick rushed Max and Al. Ole Anderson rose up off the bed and socked Max square in the jaw. As Max lay unconscious on the floor, Al reach for his gun, but he was too slow. Mrs. Hirsch, who had let Nick in, pulled out her own pistol and shot Al in the back. They quickly tied up Max and told Nick he better get out of there.

Frozen in place, Nick asked what happened, and old Anderson explained how he knew they were coming. They had been after him for a while and he knew they would be there any day. He had got wind of them waiting for him at Henry’s and he knew all you had to do was wait for them to find him. Still confused, Nick asked how Mrs. Hirsch was able to shoot the man. She calmly explained that she wasn’t Mrs. Hirsch, she was Mrs. Bell who ran the house for her. Anderson had come to her asking to keep an eye out in case you saw anything suspicious. She explained that when she let him in the house, she noticed the men trying to be discreet but suspiciously standing out under the street lamp. She said that the knock on the door to Anderson was actually a knocking code they had agreed on in case something like this happened. Again, they told Nick he better get out before the cops come.

Nick, still a little fuzzy, headed back to Henry’s to share the details with George and Sam. Neither of them and could believe the story that Nick told.